The concept that I found most interesting when learning about Goffman’s theories was his idea of a stigma. Goffman defines a stigma as an attribute that depending on the circumstances may be very discrediting. Not only do stigmas discredit ourselves but they also contribute to how we classify others as well. I relate to the concept of stigmas and negative stigmatization due to the fact that I am a member of Greek life here at Queens College. Similar to what one of my classmates had mentioned in class, bearing Greek letters on our clothing subjects us to negative stigmas very frequently. For example, a few of my sorority sisters and myself were recently apartment hunting. We made a conscious effort not to reveal our involvement in Greek life during the search because we knew that the stigma of Greek life would count negatively against us. Although we are all goal oriented students, our Greek letters would have immediately labeled us as the “party animal” Greeks to any perspective landlords. I enjoyed learning about Goffman because many of his concepts were very easy to relate to in today’s society and real life situations such as this one.
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- Nicole Hala